Hiking through Auckland on the Te Araroa - Gabrielle George
Te Araroa

Underground Bunkers, Peaches and Skyscrapers – Hiking through Auckland

Coming into Auckland the trail kept sending us on and off the beach, it couldn’t make up its mind.

We found some caves along the beach. They didn’t go into the cliff very far but were fun to explore.

We stayed the night at Takapuna caravan park. It cost us 145 dollars and it was a dump! All we got was a tiny patch of extremely lumpy grass (yes, the lumpiness of the ground is extremely important when you’re in a tent).

The next morning we headed toward Devonport to catch the ferry across Waitemata Harbour.

On the way there I saw a doorway into the hillside. We went in to investigate and discovered a whole network of underground bunkers. This called for a break from walking. It was really dark inside. The others were soon running around, screaming at the top of their lungs.

Telling the ferryman about what we’re doing. We’re constantly being stopped and asked questions. I find it quite funny, it doesn’t feel particularly impressive what we’re doing, we just walk a lot.

It was nice to rest our legs on the ferry ride across to Auckland.

Hiking through Auckland on the Te Araroa - Gabrielle George

Auckland was so busy, after a month out bush it was pretty overwhelming. And so noisy!

Buying food at an innercity Countdown. We nearly filled the whole shop.

We had lunch in the CBD. It had been exactly a month since we left Auckland for Cape Reinga and were all feeling pretty pleased with ourselves.

After lunch, we held an anonymous vote whether we should keep walking. The results were unanimous, everyone wanted to keep going! I was really happy that everyone wanted to keep going, I’d been worried that Rex would vote to stop as he’s been finding it quite hard.

We were all tired and hanging out to stop by the evening. There was a basic campground not far away that we planned to stop at.

Two ladies that we were walking alongside started talking to us. One lady, called Billie, offered us a place to stay in her back yard. We thankfully accepted and she gave us her address.

The first thing we saw in her front yard were peach trees! Dad was so excited that he ran to them and grabbed a possum-chewed peach off the ground and started eating it.

When Billie got home she told us we could pick some off the tree.

It was really nice at her place and not awkward at all. We had a lovely evening and went to bed. I was asleep before it even got dark!

My legs have now carried me six hundred kilometres! That’s a fifth of the way!

I was happy to be out of Auckland again, although the suburbs stretched and we still had a bit of busy walking to do along the freeway.

We stayed that night in a trail angel’s backyard. Jeremy was really nice. We spent the evening playing with his three-year-old son and one of the neighbour’s kids, a really cute but insanely annoying little girl.

We came across this swarm of bees. They were so docile we were able to gently touch them and they didn’t care at all.

We found a plum tree!

We stayed the next night in another trail angel’s backyard. Damien and Tammy were lovely and it felt like we’d known them forever. We went swimming in their pool.

This is one of their dogs, looking very pleased with itself after eating the plum dad had been saving for later. We all knew because my incredulous dad came running around the corner yelling “It stole my plum!”


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